「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

(社説)原発ゼロの夏 内向きの経営脱する時

April 29, 2014
EDITORIAL: Utilities should start plotting nuclear-free future for themselves
(社説)原発ゼロの夏 内向きの経営脱する時

Electric utilities are still warning that a lack of nuclear power generation will cause power shortages and rises in electricity bills. It’s time for them to stop emphasizing such concerns in their attempts to win public support for restarting idled nuclear reactors.
 原発なしでは電気が足りず、電気代も上がる――電力会社はもう、そんな不安を前面に出す姿勢を改めるべきではないか。

Prospects are bleak for bringing reactors back online by summer, so the utilities have worked out plans to avoid a summer power crunch without using nuclear energy. If these plans are carried out, this summer will be the first without nuclear power generation since the Fukushima nuclear disaster unfolded in March 2011.
 この夏の原発再稼働が見通せぬ中、電力各社は「原発ゼロの夏」を乗り切る計画を示した。実現すれば、震災後初のこととなる。

Some utilities, however, will have to walk a tightrope. Kansai Electric Power Co., which was excessively dependent on nuclear power generation, will have only a 3-percent reserve capacity during the summer peak-demand period. That means efforts to reduce power consumption should not be relaxed.
 とはいえ、もともと原発に過大な依存をしていた関西電力では、真夏のピーク時の余裕は3%しかない。

But the company’s power supply plan for the summer indicates an amazing change in society. It was only two years ago that Kansai Electric Power restarted reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant, claiming that an absence of nuclear power would force it to carry out a rolling blackout, which could seriously affect corporate activities and operations of medical institutions.
節電の手を緩めてはならないが、つい2年前「原発ゼロなら計画停電もある」「企業活動や医療現場に影響が出かねない」と大飯原発を再稼働したときのことを思えば、世の変化に目を見張る思いだ。

The great change has been powered by larger-than-expected cuts in power consumption achieved through efforts by society as a whole.
 原動力は、予想を上回る節電の定着である。

In that summer, the power saving in the region served by Kansai Electric, which then relied on the Oi plant, was three times larger than expected. As it turned out, theoretically, there would not have been a power shortage in the region even if all nuclear plants had been offline.
 あの夏、大飯原発に頼った関電管内では予想の3倍を超える節電を達成。原発ゼロでも乗り切れた計算となった。

The summer last year was among the hottest in history, but there were no signs that power-saving efforts slackened.
昨年は歴史的猛暑だったのに、節電の定着ぶりは変わらなかった。

Based on its experiences during the past two summers, Kansai Electric has estimated that the amount of electricity to be saved this summer will be equivalent to the total power output from two and a half nuclear reactors. Ardent power-saving efforts by consumers made as a serious response to the disastrous nuclear accident have effectively created a huge power surplus.
 こうした実績から、関電は今夏、原発2・5基分の節電を見込むことができた。原発事故を真摯(しんし)に受け止めたユーザーの努力が「節電発電所」の建設につながったといえる。

In contrast, utilities have failed to make serious efforts to ensure a power supply without nuclear plants.
 電力会社の努力はどうか。

They have kept arguing that nuclear power generation is indispensable for a stable power supply, and they have applied for permission to restart reactors, including even risky ones close to densely populated areas.
 安定供給には原発しかないと説き続け、リスクが明らかに高い人口密集地付近の原発でも再稼働を申請する。

Meanwhile, they have been dragging their feet on establishing a system that makes it easier for them to buy surplus power from other utilities serving different regions. To prevent a power crunch, Kansai Electric plans to buy electricity from Tokyo Electric Power Co. for the first time this summer. The amount of power traded between the nation’s eastern and western regions, which run at different frequencies, has increased by only 20 percent since the Fukushima disaster.
一方で、余った電力を地域を越えて融通しあう仕組みはなかなか整わない。関電は今夏初めて、東京電力から融通を受けて電力不足を乗り切る計画だが、周波数の違う東西での融通能力は震災時から2割増えただけだ。

Most utilities have remained dependent on old thermal power plants with low energy efficiency. They have kept saying these thermal plants could break down at any time and force them to raise electricity charges to cover growing fuel costs. It was only very recently that utilities began to move toward building state-of-the-art, energy efficient thermal power plants.
 燃費がかさむ古い火力に頼り、「いつ故障とも知れない」「電気代が上がる」という説明も続く。最新鋭の高効率の火力発電所建設の動きが出始めたのは、ごく最近のことだ。

The Diet is now considering a bill to further deregulate the power market. The nation is heading into a new era when consumers including households as well as businesses can freely choose their power suppliers. The market has already been liberalized for large consumers like local governments. A growing number of them are switching to newly created power suppliers that offer cheaper electricity.
 電力市場の自由化を進める法案が、国会で審議中だ。家庭も含めて自由に電力会社を選べる時代へと移っていく。すでに自由化された自治体などの大口利用者は、電気代の安い新電力に乗り換え始めた。

Unless they change their way of thinking, large established utilities, which have long held regional monopolies, will find it increasingly hard to secure their long-term viability.
発想を切り替えねば、大手電力会社自身が生き残れまい。

People who are making power-saving efforts want to see the establishment of a system that ensures a safe and stable supply of electricity at the lowest possible cost. It is vital to expand the use of renewable energy sources and build up a reliable program for mutual supplies of surplus power for more efficient use of limited resources.
 節電する人びとが求めるのは、安全に安定して、できるだけ安く電気を使えるシステムをつくっていくことだろう。再生可能エネルギーを拡大し、限られた電気を融通し合える仕組みを早く根付かせたい。

The accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has revealed huge potential risks lurking in nuclear power generation. From this point of view, the efforts of utilities to restart their nuclear power plants, driven by the fact that they have poured huge amounts of money into the facilities, appear to reflect a ruefully inward-looking attitude.
 福島での事故で巨大なリスクが潜むことが明らかになった以上、巨額の投資をしたから原発を動かしたいという経営の論理はあまりに内向きに見える。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 28
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2014-05-01 08:16 | 英字新聞

<< 米のアジア重視 対中牽制に同盟... ダンス営業規制 実態に即した法... >>